Why Seven?

As business transformation consultants based in London, we take on the largest, most complex and highest profile transformations and integrations. Our largest challenge to date involved integrating a $20bn organisation into a $105bn business.

We named the company ‘Seven’ because — unusually in the industry — we address all seven aspects of an integration or transformation: strategy, value case, operating model, customer, people and culture, data and technology, and processes. Adopting this holistic, enterprise-wide view and tackling all seven elements in the right order delivers the changes needed to achieve or exceed your value case.

What also makes us different is that all of our assignments are delivered by me, the founder, and a network of senior, independent consultants, including project managers, financial analysts, creatives, HR specialists, lawyers and accountants.

We are a group of senior executives who regularly work together to solve challenges like yours. Our only interest is in solving your specific problem. We are not incentivised to on-sell but deliver the job in-hand to an exceptionally high standard. This differs from the typical consulting pyramid model, where projects are often resourced with junior teams learning on the job and seniors incentivised to sell further work. We are an expert-driven model — only bringing the best people around the table.

When you hire Seven, you get professionals who:

  • deliver bespoke solutions to your particular situation.
  • work at pace and with energy.
  • measure their success only by your success.
  • operate at all levels of your organisation, from the board to frontline employees.
  • take an owner’s view when deciding what’s right for the business.
  • adopt a hands-on approach to delivery: we roll up our sleeves and get the job done.
Karen Thomas-Bland

Meet Karen Thomas-Bland, founder at Seven

My background

I am an interim executive committee member, coach and consultant with 24 years’ experience leading complex enterprise-wide transformations and M&A integrations to $105bn turnover. Over the last 11 years my clients have included Accenture, Microsoft, EY, Invesco, National Grid, RELX Group and PE funds, where I have successfully led major change programmes. I have been on private equity backed technology boards to drive value creation and achieve a major fundraise or exit, working alongside leading investors.

Before founding Seven in 2011, I was an executive in IBM Global, based in New York, Dubai and Sao Paulo. I led IBM’s global transformation, integrated 10 major software businesses, ran a $4.5bn top accounts full P&L and rapidly scaled a new global consulting and data analytics business to £500m turnover.

Based in London, I have proven expertise in strategy and transformation of complex global businesses, creating new and  disruptive operating models to cut costs, grow the top line, extract greater value from data and technology, create new dynamic cultures and deliver  customer-centric and digitally  delivered customer experiences, all underpinned by technology innovation.

I have undertaken 50+ M&A deals, including due diligence and valuation, investment thesis, synergy case, transaction services agreement, close and post-merger integration. Integrations range in size from a £20bn business to mid-market PE integrations.

I have strong cross-sector B2B and B2C, cross-functional and broad geographical experience, including operating in 180+ countries across five continents.

I am also a regular contributor on transformation and M&A issues for many publications including The Times, Financial Times, Management Today and the Association of MBAs. See the Latest thinking section for examples of these.

I hold a degree in psychology, a master’s in organisational psychology and am a chartered organisational psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. I have completed the International Directors Programme at INSEAD Business School.

Why me?

I’ve been in your shoes.

I’ve not just advised and consulted clients, but I’ve run large, complex global businesses too, taking on established businesses and scaling new ones. I know what it feels like to be on the other side of the transformation. My approach blends business leadership and consulting capability. I enjoy rolling my sleeves up and getting the job done.

My personal satisfaction is my clients’ success.

I don’t run away from tough challenges, either; in fact, I thrive on them. Throughout my career I’ve sought out difficult, complex projects. When the going gets tough I’ve been described as ‘clear, calm and pragmatic’, whether it be with the board of directors or frontline employees. Nor am I afraid to constructively challenge to find the best solution.

Above all else, I’m skilled at building high performing teams who love to work together. The memories I cherish from projects are of the great people I’ve worked with who made those times special.

A few words from our clients

“Thank you so much for all you have done for us. You have made a huge difference in so many ways: getting senior buy-in, delivering us significantly improved approaches, bringing your strategic brain to tackle a myriad of challenges — to name but a few. And thank you for the personal advice you have given me which was always clear and well thought through. I really appreciated it.”

Global managing partner, top tier consultancy

“Karen worked tirelessly to ensure the integration was a success — and succeeded in this endeavour. She did this while motivating and upskilling a core central integration team, managing executive stakeholders on both sides with their own vested interests on what good looked like for the new organisation, and operating with the sole intent of maximising the value of the integration.”

Director, FTSE 250 company

“Outstanding quality deliverables. Across the group the work has been recognised as best practice that can be leveraged much more broadly. I would be delighted to recommend Seven for future strategy and transformation engagements.”

Managing director, FTSE 100 analytics company

“You have achieved an incredible amount. You leave behind a lasting legacy, in terms of integration planning for day one and beyond, that will ensure that the integration is an enormous success and the transaction will fulfil its potential.”

CEO, FTSE 250 company

“Karen provided excellent leadership and focus across the programme, engaged exceptionally well with key stakeholders across the business and worked with great pace and energy. I would be delighted to recommend Karen for future strategy and transformation engagements.”

CEO, FTSE 100 financial services company

“Thank you for your advice and perspectives throughout your time with us. I particularly appreciated your advice to me personally and how you helped us navigate through some tricky situations. Thank you. I wish you every success for the future and will be pleased to keep in touch.”

CEO, PE-backed company

Our clients

A few of the companies we’ve helped to transform. To join them, contact us.